The North Bohemian Museum in Liberec was founded in 1873, originally for exhibitions of applied arts. But during the first 25 years of its existence, the museum acquired such a great number of pieces of European and Oriental applied arts that it needed more space and a new building.
The international design contest held in Vienna in 1895 selected the design of Austrian architect Friedrich Ohmann, which was brought to life in 1898 by German architect Hans Grisebach. The building structure combines, rather charmingly, medieval and early-modern design elements of sacred and palace architecture. The imposing edifice is complemented by replicas of defunct Liberec monuments — the tower of the old Renaissance city hall and a bourgeois house from the late 18th century. After 1945, new departments featuring local history and natural sciences were added to the museum. Currently it resides in 6 more buildings housing over 500,000 collection items.
EXPOSITION OF APPLIED ARTS
The exposition of applied arts shows the development of European applied arts from ancient times to the present in chronological order. The remarkably rich set of art items from the collections of glass, ceramics, china, textile, tapestries, furniture, woodcuts, clocks, old printings, jewellery, metal and others offers an aesthetic experience as well as plenty of information about the changing trends in artistic styles during the centuries.
EXPOSITION OF THE LIBEREC AREA NATURE
This exposition approaches the animate and also inanimate nature of the Liberec Region. The largest part is devoted to the Jizera Mountains. The nextection introduces the nature of the Ještěd’s ridge, the Frýdlant area and the Bohemian paradise to visitors. Even nature strongly influenced by humans is not omitted. Textual and photographic exhibition panels are accompanied by a number of small dioramas with an amount of fauna and also flora. Two unique dioramas dominate the exhibition, depicting accurately the environment of beechwood and ponds with their typical inhabitants.
An extensive reconstruction of the museum’s interiors was completed in 2020. It is definitely worth a visit!